noun, often attributive
\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a natural luminous body visible in the sky especially at night
b : a self-luminous gaseous spheroidal celestial body of great mass which produces energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions
2a(1) : a planet or a configuration of the planets that is held in astrology to influence one's destiny or fortune usually used in plural
(2) : a waxing or waning fortune or fame her star was rising
b obsolete : destiny
3a : a conventional figure with five or more points that represents a star especially : asterisk
b : an often star-shaped ornament or medal worn as a badge of honor, authority, or rank or as the insignia of an order
c : one of a group of conventional stars used to place something in a scale of value
4 : something resembling a star was hit on the head and saw stars
5a : the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief roles
b : a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performer
c : an outstandingly talented performer a track star
d : a person who is preeminent in a particular field


starred; starring; stars

Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive + intransitive verb

1a intransitive : to play the most prominent or important role in a movie, play, etc. an actor currently starring in a hit Broadway show She had a starring role in his latest film.
b transitive : to feature (a performer) in the most prominent or important role a movie that stars a famous stage personality
2 intransitive : to perform outstandingly In the fall of 1925, Elkins starred on the gridiron …— Bil Gilbert [Alan] Trammell, who starred for the Tigers at shortstop during the glory days of the 1980s …— Jeff Bradley
3 T
a : to mark with a star as being superior or preeminent in some way a monument starred in the guidebook a starred review
b : to mark with an asterisk
4 transitive : to sprinkle or adorn with or as if with stars … meadows starred with buttercups and daisies.— Kenneth Roberts

Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being a star received star billing
2 : of outstanding excellence : preeminent a star athlete

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Other Words from star


starless \ ˈstär-​ləs How to pronounce starless (audio) \ adjective
starlike \ ˈstär-​ˌlīk How to pronounce starlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for star

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

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Examples of star in a Sentence

Noun They gazed up at the stars. There are billions of stars in the universe. I'm glad we didn't use the tent. It's so much nicer to sleep outside under the stars. The restaurant was awarded four stars for excellence. Critics give the movie three stars. Verb The new television series stars a famous movie actress. a concert starring some of the biggest names in the business He starred in both baseball and football when he was in college. She starred for the basketball team last year. This restaurant is starred in the guidebook. Adjective looking for star actors to play the leads
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Check out more of Harris’ interview above to hear the actress talk landing the role of Santamonica and loving her co-stars. Essence, "7-Year-Old Mykal-Michelle Harris Is The Sassiest Actress On 'Mixed-ish'," 30 Dec. 2019 Lucasfilm, the production company behind the series, gave Howell his own star in a galaxy far, far away as Ri-Lee Howell, a Jedi master and Force historian. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Hitchhiking dogs, a celebrity Secret Santa and holidays in space," 28 Dec. 2019 Chavez didn't really need its stars, not the way the Robinson twins were scoring and setting up teammates. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Cesar Chavez hoops moves on without star TyTy Washington, routs Tempe," 26 Dec. 2019 In the past decade, few local chefs have seen their star rise like James Rigato. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "These 12 restaurants defined the past decade of dining in metro Detroit," 24 Dec. 2019 Though it's been recently parodied to some criticism from one of its stars, there's no doubt that Love, Actually has worked its way into the hearts of Christmas movie-lovers since 2003. Jordan Wilson, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Reporter Reader Poll: What Is Your Favorite Christmas Movie?," 24 Dec. 2019 From there, the Nuggets ratcheted up the defensive intensity and waited for their other star to deliver. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "“We didn’t panic”: Inside the Nuggets’ dramatic, streak-saving win over Suns," 24 Dec. 2019 On Tuesday morning, the Today show anchor opened up to her fourth-hour co-star Jenna Bush Hager about the cutest thing her future hubby did for her. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Today' Star Hoda Kotb’s Shares a Rare Personal Story About Her Fiancé Joel Schiffman," 22 Dec. 2019 What does being so close to their star do to these planets? John Wenz, Ars Technica, "Lessons from scorching hot weirdo-planets," 22 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Johnson, who recently starred in HBO comedy Ballers, hit the big screen again last month in Jumanji: The Next Level. Dan Snierson,, "Dwayne Johnson to star in NBC comedy based on his life," 11 Jan. 2020 There was a brief interruption for the bicentennial quarter, minted in 1975 and 1976, which still shows the quintessential George Washington profile on the front, but has the legendary drummer and stars design on the reverse. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "ATTENTION: Bat Quarters," 8 Jan. 2020 Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman will star in the flick — set to open on Nov. 5, 2021 — with Taika Waititi directing. TheWeek, "Christian Bale reportedly in talks to join Thor: Love and Thunder cast," 7 Jan. 2020 Fashion’s power brokers were carrying on the traditions of the power brokers who’d come before, happily using black and brown people as props in photo shoots that starred white models who had parachuted in for the job. National Geographic, "The idea of beauty is always shifting. Today, it’s more inclusive than ever.," 7 Jan. 2020 Despite a number of sell-out performances in recent weeks, the musical, based on the 1988 Tim Burton movie that starred Michael Keaton, is set to end its run on June 6. Charles Passy, WSJ, "‘Beetlejuice’ Keeps Selling Out as Show Faces Closing," 6 Jan. 2020 So far just one former Broncos player has been named to the all-time team: cornerback Willie Brown, who starred in Denver from 1963-66 before he was traded to the Oakland Raiders. Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post, "Peyton Manning, John Elway among finalists for NFL 100 all-time team," 27 Dec. 2019 Daniel Radcliffe, who starred in the Harry Potter film series, revealed his favorite movie from the franchise is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Daniel Radcliffe Just Revealed His Favorite "Harry Potter" Movie and It's Not Really a Fan Favorite," 27 Dec. 2019 Thanks to The Plaza Hotel and Fairmont Hotels along with the below for supporting the production of our video: Directed by Tyler Joe and starring Damaris Lewis. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Welcome to the ELLE Decor Café at The Plaza Hotel," 9 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Year: 2019 (ABC at 9) Showcasing another monumental year filled with celebrity romance, star drama, politics and breakout stars. Nina Zafar, Washington Post, "What to watch on TV this weekend: ‘Mr. Robot’ series finale on USA," 21 Dec. 2019 Haitham, who had finished basic military training in September, was charming, funny and athletic — a basketball player and star track runner at Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, recalled his cousin, Ashley Williams. Tim Stelloh, NBC News, "Pensacola shooting victims were aspiring aviators gunned down at flight school," 9 Dec. 2019 If Simon Upton, one of the magazine’s star freelance photographers, is dispatched to the United States, he will be assigned two or three projects to make the trip cost-effective. Steven Kurutz, New York Times, "Inside The World of Interiors, Condé Nast’s Secret Weapon," 4 Dec. 2019 Aniston appeared in a group photo posted on Theroux’s Instagram stories, alongside a host of other celebrities including fellow Friends star Courteney Cox, Jimmy Kimmel and Jason Bateman. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Jennifer Aniston Spent Thanksgiving With Her Ex, Justin Theroux," 29 Nov. 2019 Netflix has unveiled a first look at The Walking Dead star Christian Serratos taking the stage as famed Latin singer Selena Quintanilla Perez in Selena: The Series. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Get a first look at Walking Dead star Christian Serratos in Netflix's Selena series," 12 Nov. 2019 The Walking Dead star Christian Serratos will portray Selena. Emma Specter, Vogue, "Everything We Know So Far About the Selena Netflix Series," 12 Nov. 2019 Many of its Christmas romances star women and men in their 40s and 50s - a demo underserved by many networks. Jeanne Jakle,, "Hallmark will gift fans with 40 original Christmas movies this year," 16 Oct. 2019 Grant was accustomed to a role as his team’s star attacker throughout a storied 14-year MLL career and now embraces situational usage with Denver’s young talent running the show. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Denver Outlaws’ John Grant Jr., 44, on cusp of storybook ending to famed career," 4 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'star.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of star


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 3


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for star


Middle English sterre, from Old English steorra; akin to Old High German sterno star, Latin stella, Greek astēr, astron

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Time Traveler for star

Time Traveler

The first known use of star was before the 12th century

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Statistics for star

Last Updated

2 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Star.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for star


How to pronounce star (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any one of the objects in space that are made of burning gas and that look like points of light in the night sky
: a star or planet especially in a certain position that is believed in astrology to influence people's lives
: something (such as a symbol or medal) with five or more points that represents or suggests a star



English Language Learners Definition of star (Entry 2 of 2)

: to play the most important role in a movie, play, etc.
: to have (someone) as the most important performer
: to perform extremely well


\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Kids Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of the heavenly bodies except planets which are visible at night and look like fixed points of light
2 : a figure or object with five or more points that represents or suggests a star in the sky
3 : a very talented or popular performer a movie star
4 : a planet that is believed in astrology to influence someone's life She was born under a lucky star.
5 : the principal member of a theater or opera company


starred; starring

Kids Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to mark with a star or an asterisk as being special or very good
2 : to present in the role of a star The show stars my favorite actor.
3 : to play the most important role She will star in a new play.
4 : to perform in an outstanding manner She starred in soccer this season.

Kids Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being favored or very popular the teacher's star pupil a star athlete
2 : being of outstanding excellence a star chef

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More from Merriam-Webster on star

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for star

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with star

Spanish Central: Translation of star

Nglish: Translation of star for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of star for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about star

Comments on star

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a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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